Markets are losing confidence in the European Union’s ability to keep the single currency intact. They are also demanding higher returns to hold the debt of Greece and Ireland today than when they were bailed out by the EU last year. As finance ministers gathered in Brussels this week, they hardly even pretended to agree on how to deal with the endless problems of the euro zone.
A growing number of economists think restructuring now would be cheaper for Europe as a whole than giving more loans that may never be repaid. But politicians, particularly those facing elections in the coming years, will hope they can choose delay.